Efficiency of foreign economic activity and optimization of the Foreign Ministry were discussed today at the Palace of Independence. The President received Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei with a report on the fulfillment of the instructions of the Head of State, given at the July meeting on foreign policy priorities.
Then about 250 people participated in the conversation. Among them were almost all Belarusian ambassadors who represent the republic's interests abroad.
The foreign political geography of Belarus covers all continents. Diplomatic relations have been established with 170 countries. The foundation of our foreign policy is multi-vector. We strengthen our cooperation not only with our neighbors, but also with the East and West. The main criterion for the efficiency of the external economy is the growth of Belarusian exports. Embassies have a key role in this issue.
Vladimir Makei reports on a positive trend: the sales abroad have increased. Nevertheless, the Head of State instructed to analyze all aspects of foreign economic activity and pay attention to shortcomings.
Belarus maintains trade relations with more than 190 countries around the world. The most important export positions are oil and refined products, mineral fertilizers, metal products, trucks and cars, tractors, tires, dairy and meat products. In general, sales abroad increased by 23%, and amounted to 26.5 billion dollars.
In 2017 supplies of Belarusian goods increased in all directions: to the CIS countries, and in particular to Russia. An even greater increase is observed in exports to states outside the commonwealth. Trade relations with partners in Latin America and the Asian region are developing dynamically. The supplies to the European Union have increase by almost one-third.
Following the meeting, Vladimir Makei shared the details with journalists. In general, the conceptual approaches of foreign policy and economic activity for this year have been agreed upon. In February, the Foreign Ministry plans to hold a final panel with the participation of representatives of other ministries and departments, exporting enterprises in order to summarize the work for the past period and determine the tasks for the future.
The head of the foreign ministry also reported on the results of optimization of the central apparatus of the Foreign Ministry. It was reduced by a third. This process will continue. The schedule of foreign visits of the Head of State was discussed. The President was also informed about important international events that are planned to be held in Belarus. Among them is the OSCE conference on combating terrorism. The opening of the memorial in Trostenz with participation of the leaders of foreign countries is expected.